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Death Comes for Flash Fiction

Cover art by Dario Bijelac

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

I read a book recently.  I won’t reveal the title.  But it seemed like an awful lot of people died.  Just when one family finally got a handle on life and things were looking up for them, Wham! the father would get killed in a logging accident.  For such a heavy-handed book it became, sad to say, almost laughable, a game to guess who would die next.  

Why do I bring this up in an issue of Flash Fiction Online called “Death Comes to Flash Fiction?”  Because that book changed my view of death in fiction.  It made me scrutinize death and the purpose for it in everything I’ve read afterward.  Which is what makes all three of this month’s stories remarkable.  All passed the death test for me.  I won’t tell you who dies or how.  That’s for you to find out, but I think you’ll be satisfied all around.

First up is “Monoceros Ptolemy Cluster,” a tough as nails, brush-the-dust-from-your-ray-gun space western by author Steven W. Johnson.  

Next, “Black Friday” by Brynn MacNab.  When Uncle Joe comes home for a visit, Dad starts keeping a stake under his pillow.  A heartfelt take on the Vampire trope.

Last up we offer “The Rules of the Game” by Alexandra Grunberg.  Death plays chess with Yue year after year.  If death wins, Yue dies.  A deep and subtle story about the way we mortals tend to cling to mortality.


Suzanne W. Vincent


Flash Fiction Online

Suzanne Vincent

Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.


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